1) Get your customers to trust you and your products first.
Just launching your opt-in list would not make you an expert and a believable seller. Put many articles first before you start an opt-in list. Write about the topic you know and have started and used for your site. Try to put forums first to gain knowledge about your customers about their wants and needs and target those wants and needs.
Join forums from other sites as well. Provide expert advices and recommendations. When you feel that people trust you already, you will be able to start your own opt-in list. You can build a base as well with other forum users. You can ask them to join your list.
People are not going to buy something out of your recommendation if they don't know you.
2) Find a product or service that people want and need.
Although it may not be your forte, if you provide a service and product that you have researched and learned about well, you can carry it on forward. Invest your time, effort and money that you could sell as well as the buyers or subscribers of your opt-in list can use.
3) Make friends with other opt-in list users.
This is basically beneficial especially if it is someone who has already launched a successful opt-in list. These are people that have the experience in this venture and experience is still the best teacher.
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